Experiences with Kamini are all based on the ancient wisdom of yoga and its applications to daily life. Uniquely combined with the western psychological perspective, you will find these workshops insightful, helpful and transformative. Here is an overview of some of the practices you might encounter in a workshop as well as answers to questions you may have.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga means completion, wholeness or integration. It is another word for happiness. Yoga is based on the premise that we are all seeking integration or happiness. Some seek integration through external things like success, relationships or recognition. But to base happiness on something that is guaranteed to change is an uncertain strategy. The teachings of yoga re-visit the original choice we made to look outside for happiness. The teachings suggest that wholeness and fulfillment can be found not in what we have, but in who we are. The practice is comprised of a specifically constructed set of tools that systematically teaches us to re-align with the wholeness that is always present in life regardless of what is happening on the outside.
WHAT IS HATHA YOGA?
The practice of Hatha yoga uses the physical body as an entry point to begin to realize that we already are everything we have been looking for. Using the body as a laboratory, we learn to increase our capacity to be relaxed and at peace with more and more things that would normally induce a stressful reaction. By calming these habitual and unconscious reactions to life, we can begin to see that “things” are only a problem because we decide they are. When we can relax with how things are, they cease to be a problem. We experience the peace that is always present at the core of existence. Hatha yoga is a laboratory in which we deliberately push our own buttons and create an internal reaction so that we can practice working with it in a new way. This kinesthetic method of learning translates effortlessly into all other aspects of life.
WHAT IS I AM YOGA®?
The Integrative Amrit Method of Yoga, developed by Gurudev Shri Amritji, is one of the styles of Hatha yoga I teach. It helps us return to the state of equanimity with life through interchanging dynamic action with deep relaxation during the practice of Hatha yoga poses. This restores balance to the nervous and energetic systems. Combined with inward focus, it becomes very easy to enter into a state of meditative awareness where we can be deeply relaxed in the midst of mental commentary and physical effort. This is also what we are seeking to create in life.
WHAT IS I AM YOGA NIDRA™?
Yoga Nidra, also called Integrative Relaxation, is an ancient yogic practice which helps us realize the fulfillment and wholeness that is always available – but must first be recognized. Each night, when we fall into deep sleep, we enter a state of wholeness that naturally arises as a result of letting go of participation in mental activity. This is biological. Yoga nidra progressively takes us into a conscious sleep state, where we experience our essence effortlessly through circumventing the normal processes by which we interact with the mind.
Usually performed lying down, the Integrative Amrit Method employs easy-to-practice techniques that progressively take practitioners into a deep state of relaxed awareness. In this meditative state, it is easy to disengage from negative mental talk and unconscious habit patterns that are limiting our lives. It is also a state where the power of the body to heal itself is magnified many-fold.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Most of us live as if we are our mind. When the mind has a negative thought, we believe it to be true. Our physical chemistry and emotions follow that thought. As a result the mind tends to drag us on a roller coaster of thoughts and resulting feelings – often leaving us exhausted and beaten up by our mind.
Meditation allows us to see that we have a mind, but we are not our mind. This subtle distinction leads us to realize that we don’t have to believe what the mind says. Therefore, we no longer need to be dragged around by it. There are many types of mediation techniques, but all of them are centered around seeing and experiencing the truth that we are not our thoughts. Yoga Nidra is one meditation technique. The practice of Amrit Yoga is unique because it incorporates this principle of meditation while in the physical practice of postures.
Meditation in any form is a very powerful practice for anyone who suffers from symptoms of stress, depression, emotionally-based health issues, and other life issues.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL WORKSHOP LIKE?
A full weekend workshop format begins with a Friday night opening and lecture. The first night is usually open to the public. On Saturday, we begin with early morning yoga followed by teaching and discussion on a workshop topic. In the afternoon, we dive more deeply into the topic and explore experientially through introspective exercises, journaling or other tools that help make the teaching real and relevant to each participant. Depending on the location, there may be an after dinner session in which the group will informally gather for an evening of relaxation and fun. Sunday morning orients participants towards the practical tools needed to incorporate the teachings into life. The weekend usually closes by lunch time.
Other workshop formats vary, but always include teaching combined with an experiential, self-reflective component.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I HAVE PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS?
Absolutely. The beauty of this approach is that anyone at any level of physical capability can receive the full benefits of practice. This is because the focus is not so much on what we can or cannot do, but how we do what you do. While we gain a great many physical benefits, it is the consciousness with which we practice that will ultimately translate into a more relaxed and rewarding life.
IS THIS RELIGIOUS? WILL IT INTERFERE WITH MY BELIEFS?
No. The teachings of yoga are intended to teach us how to be happier and more fulfilled with our lives and ourselves. Over the last twenty years of teaching, participants have consistently reported that these practices and teachings actually bring them closer to their own faith. Through creating a more relaxed and peaceful life people find they are able to connect with the Presence as they understand it more easily.
WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF AN EVENT WITH KAMINI?
Understand how the tools of Eastern and Western psychology can be used to find the lasting happiness we are all searching for.
Specifically apply the tools to various “challenge” areas in life.
Use stories and personal examples to see how these tools can be used in a practical way with real-life situations.
Realize that we are all the same. We don’t have to hide our imperfections. Acceptance is the key to transcendence.
People from all walks of life find greater fulfillment, satisfaction and ease in their lives through their studies with Kamini.